[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Michigan 76, Purdue 57 Comment Count

Alex Cook December 1st, 2018 at 6:29 PM

For the second time this week, Michigan welcomed a ranked team with one of the best offenses in the country to the Crisler Center, and for the second time, the Wolverines won easily. In this one, Michigan got out to a fast start against Purdue: consecutive threes from Jordan Poole and Charles Matthews, then a layup from Zavier Simpson past Matt Haarms prompted a timeout from Matt Painter less than four minutes into the game. At that point, the Wolverines led 13-4. Purdue didn’t get the deficit to within a possession for the rest of the game.

Michigan found plenty of open shots against the Boilermakers’ switch-heavy defense in the first half and took advantage. Michigan went on an extended scoring run reminiscent of John Beilein’s best offensive teams, and there were plenty of highlights throughout the half: the Wolverines hit nine threes, including three each from Poole and Matthews; Ignas Brazdeikis hit a particularly nasty step-back three over Grady Eifert; Matthews found Jon Teske for two alley-oop dunks, one of which extended Michigan’s lead to 31-16 halfway through the half.

That 31-16 margin held up for almost five minutes, as Michigan’s offense went cold and their defense began to lock down Purdue. Ryan Cline got open for a few threes, but otherwise Michigan’s defense was on point, especially against All-American lead guard Carsen Edwards. Purdue’s star needed to have a strong performance to have a chance at pulling off the upset, but he was held to 7-21 shooting from the field, fell short of his scoring average with 19 points, and had more turnovers than assists for the Boilermakers.



Purdue’s offense is built around Edwards’s relentless attacking style, and his aggressiveness eventually waned, as he only had three shots after the under-16 timeout in the second half. Michigan played well on both sides of the halftime break: the Wolverines hit a few threes and had another Matthews-to-Teske alley-oop to close out the first, and kept pace with a little run from Edwards to start the second. Poole kept on scoring - and finished with a game-high 21 points on just nine shots - but Matthews cooled off, and wound up scoreless in the second half.

Michigan’s offense bogged down for a while - they had a stretch without a made field goal that lasted for over nine minutes - but Purdue was unable to cut the lead to closer than 12 points during that span. Jon Teske emerged as a focal point of the Wolverine offense in the second half: he hit two pick-and-pop threes, slipped some screens to break a ball-screen coverage that had started to stymie Michigan’s guards, and had 12 second half points (he finished with 17). Of course, his excellent defense around the rim was a big factor in the win as well.

Over the course of the game, Michigan’s offense had some hot and cold stretches, but ultimately the Wolverines shot 13-26 from three and ended the game with 1.23 points per possession. Zavier Simpson, who played a major role in slowing down Edwards - sticking to him off screens, contesting every shot - was more involved in the offense than usual. Simpson was inefficient shooting (10 points on a team-high 14 shots), but had seven assists to just one turnover and frequently made the right decision when confronted with bigs on the switch. Michigan’s starters were relied on heavily in this game, as Isaiah Livers was quiet, and all five finished with at least nine points.



The Wolverine defense allowed 0.92 points per possession against an elite offense and one of the best scorers in college basketball. Michigan did well on several different fronts: forcing Edwards into a ton of missed shots (and maklng him really labor for even decent looks) was the key battle, but Michigan also muted Purdue’s typically terrific three-point shooting and offensive rebounding. As usual, the Wolverine defense was close to impeccable in its ball-screen coverages, rotations, and decisions on whether to send help; they contested almost every shot and eventually broke Purdue’s will.

Michigan travels to Northwestern on Tuesday and then will go a month without facing a decent opponent until Big Ten play resumes. This was the only scheduled matchup between the Wolverines and the Boilermakers, and UM notched a strong early result as they mount a campaign for a conference title. Michigan has been easily the best team in the league thus far and have looked as dominant as anyone in all of college basketball. With today's win, they recorded their their third quality win of the season - and they still haven’t even played a close game.

[Box score after the JUMP]

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December 1st, 2018 at 8:11 PM ^

Purdue scored 16 points in the first 13 minutes of the game; they scored 17 points in the last 15 minutes of the game.  There were some fantastic defensive stretches in this game.

And, yes, Michigan went 9 minutes without a field goal, during which time Purdue went on a... 10-4 run.  It's so much fun to watch this team play defense.

Indy Pete - Go Blue

December 1st, 2018 at 6:45 PM ^

 The cohesiveness of this team and the various roles that each player plays truly is a thing of beauty. I know there will be a few bumps in the road, but it is looking like there will not be much more than a few.  I know that I will enjoy every minute of the ride with this team.


December 1st, 2018 at 6:50 PM ^

Michigan is currently #5 in KenPom, pending posting the result of the Nevada / USC game (Nevada beat the KenPom spread and may re-take 5th).  They're #3 in Torvik.  Heck, KenPom has them projected at 15-5 in the Big Ten, two games clear of second place.

And they have fun doing it.  :-)  Here's hoping they keep their focus Tuesday night at Northwestern; NW had a shot to beat Indiana at the buzzer today, so they're at least semi-legit.  This season's shaping up to be a lot of fun...

Go Blue!


December 1st, 2018 at 8:16 PM ^

To be fair, I'd like to see Michigan destroy a team that plays a good amount of zone before throwing out those first two games.  I think they can -- they're starting to develop into a team that can shoot over a zone -- but that's why Michigan couldn't crack a point per possession in those two games.


December 1st, 2018 at 8:58 PM ^

This is my only concern at this time. I do believe that Michigan has the skills to not only go over a zone but to also through it...we will see. But that defense is lights out!

Otherwise, this is how you play the game...kudos to the coaches and players for making this a thing of beauty! 


December 1st, 2018 at 7:31 PM ^

I know there are some tough road venues to visit, and there might be a "schedule loss" in there (like the game at Nebraska last year) but 15-5 seems like a conservative prediction for us right now.  Especially when no one can stay within 17 points of us at the moment.


December 1st, 2018 at 8:13 PM ^

I agree, but Michigan is 1.5 points per 100 possessions behind Kansas.  I don't think they'll fall that far.  Now, if Michigan runs Northwestern off the floor and Kansas scuffles again against Wofford, all bets are off. :)

ETA: The Kansas game has been posted, and Duke is now 3 points per 100 clear of second place Kansas; #2 - #6 are all in a narrow grouping (26.94 for #2 Kansas, 26.42 for #6 Nevada).  Michigan improved by nearly 1.5 points today, so if they win at Northwestern by 17+ too, the #2 slot is a realistic possibility.


December 1st, 2018 at 7:00 PM ^

Indeed.  Out of the 13 remaining undefeated teams, Michigan's minimum margin of victory of 17 points is by far the highest.  The next closest is Texas Tech, who's won every game by at least 11, but while Michigan has 3 KenPom A games (@Nova, UNC, Purdue) and a B game (vs Providence), TTU has one of each (vs Nebraska and vs. USC, respectively).


December 1st, 2018 at 6:57 PM ^

They play extremely well together and look very relaxed/confident.

Specifically, X has so much upside. If he starts to hit 3s with some consistency and elevates his FT shooting, this team can beat anyone.

Go Blue.


December 1st, 2018 at 10:44 PM ^

The reason is I am a very bad photographer, so I fake on the sideline, when I mainly texting with my wife naughty text.

I then create image using whatever I can find on google image. In that case is mostly made out of a Pizza.

To be real, I had way to much vine before the game tonight, inspired by the Purdue guy name!

So I've got my proportion all messed up!! and as a result Poole looks Tiny.


December 1st, 2018 at 11:32 PM ^

Yep Pizza that the secret.

Teske is big, but Poole is not small either.

That image is caught when Poole already have a leg touching the ground when Teske is just coming down from his jump...  So he is easily 2feet above the group, add the angle, the focal length. And the momentum you get a good image.

True Blue 9

December 1st, 2018 at 7:00 PM ^

Great team win today! I'm a bit nervous about Tuesday's game as Northwestern always, always plays us tough, in particular in Evanston. We clear that game and I think there's a great shot we start the season 17-0, with some cupcake non-conference games and some early mostly home games when we continue the Big Ten slate. Go Blue!


December 1st, 2018 at 7:03 PM ^

FYI -- if you assume Michigan wins in Evanston, KenPom gives them about a 49% chance to get to 17-0.  While they're at least an 80% favorite in each game, if you play 5 games as an 80% favorite, you'd expect to go 4-1.

I guess it's a matter of semantics: a coin-flip chance at 17-0 seems pretty damned appealing. :)

Harbaugh's Lef…

December 1st, 2018 at 7:06 PM ^

As good as this team is, I think the margin of victory is the most interesting part of it all.

In the five unranked wins, they've outscored their opponent by an average of 70.4 to 48.8 or a margin 21.6 points. As their competition has gotten better, they've outscored their three ranked opponents by an average of 77.66 points to 56.66 points or a margin of 21.

As their defense, in comparison, gives up more against better teams, their offense is keeping pace.


December 1st, 2018 at 7:07 PM ^

Two thoughts:

- Right now, we've definitely compiled the most impressive resume in the country. Blown out every single team we've played, including some very good opponents, home, neutral, and away.

- If we stay this hot, we could clinch an NCAA berth by January!



December 1st, 2018 at 7:29 PM ^

:-) OK, so let's suppose they were to win out through January 29, vs. Ohio State.  They'd be 21-0, with 7 KenPom A wins and 6 KenPom B wins (based on today's rankings).

Would that clinch a bid?  If they lost every game in February and March, they'd finish 21-11, on an 11-game losing streak, with a 10-11 conference record and at least two questionable losses -- at Rutgers and whoever they faced in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.  I think it would be an interesting question; I could see it either way.

I think it would be a fun discussion to have at 21-0. ;)


December 1st, 2018 at 7:09 PM ^

I always wondered what would happen if Beilein could get his teams to play in November like they do in March, well now I know, they just beat every team they play by at least 17. This team is incredible. With the addition of Iggy and the improvement on d they can match-up with anyone.  Give us dook, I wanna take it to Zion and RJ. Remember the last player dook had who everyone thought was unstoppable, Jahlil, well now he’s not even getting minutes in the nba, same thing will happen to Zion, not skilled enough for the big leagues.  Can’t dribble and can’t shoot...you can’t just dunk it on everyone on the nba. Go blue, beat all the teams you have left to play.


December 2nd, 2018 at 4:22 PM ^

Wait are you serious, have you watched Zion, he can barely dribble. Jahlil was the last player from Duke who no one could touch, they blew him up to be the best player since Lebron, he was a stud on their best recent team (the one that won the national championship game in 2014/2015 in case you didn't know). Turns out, unlike in college, the NBA has bigger guys and knows how to guard, Jahlil has been garbage since year two in the NBA, the same thing will happen to Zion. Burly guys who can't shoot and don't have handles are not good in the NBA. Zion gets all his points at the rim just like Jahlil did in college because he is bigger than everyone, literally one of the biggest players in the college game right now. This changes in the NBA, Zion will be okay his rookie year, probably about 10 a game and then fall off, you'll see, you must not watch the big leagues.


December 1st, 2018 at 7:15 PM ^

This Beilein Team is incredible to watch.  What fun, Down Goes

nova, unc, purdue.

Play the game the right way, move the ball, Real Defense, Rebound and a premium on taking care of the ball.  Today, Improved free throws.  No ceiling to this team.

Sign was right, We Are a Basketball School now.  What Fun Coach B.


December 1st, 2018 at 7:15 PM ^

This Beilein Team is incredible to watch.  What fun, Down Goes

nova, unc, purdue.

Play the game the right way, move the ball, Real Defense, Rebound and a premium on taking care of the ball.  Today, Improved free throws.  No ceiling to this team.

Sign was right, We Are a Basketball School now.  What Fun Coach B.


December 1st, 2018 at 7:50 PM ^

8 games into the season and I'm already spoiled.

Today felt very ho hum to me, kinda like a Maryland or Illinois football game. It's on the schedule, you have to play it but you know it's a win.



December 1st, 2018 at 7:53 PM ^

Painter might be my second favorite coach in the B1G. Last season's matchups were epic.

If even he can't solve Michigan's defense... we are really really good 


December 1st, 2018 at 8:22 PM ^

Team is playing amazing. Really makes me want to go to a game. But I banned myself from Crisler four years ago after I took notice of my 1-7 record in that building. They're playing too well for me to risk it.